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When it Comes to Elections, There’s More Options than Endorsing a Candidate

A year and a bit after the 2016 elections, we’re still debating exactly what happened. But most of those conversations revolve around the candidates, the parties and their official campaigns. What about lessons for community organizations and their social movements? What did we do right and wrong in that cycle, and what can be learned? What can be done for groups who don’t see a champion on the ballot or who don’t see “hold-your-nose-and-vote-for-the-lesser-of-two-evils” as a convincing mobilizing opportunity?

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From Seattle to Phoenix: A 10 Year Movement Update

This essay, written by B. Loewe in the Fall of 2010, is included in the astonishing anthology We Have Not Been Moved available at PM Press.

In 1999, following the massive demonstrations in Seattle against the World Trade Organization, Betita Martinez shook things up with the simple question: “Why were most of the demonstrators white?”

After the state of Washington ran out of tear gas, after the echoes of bucket drums faded, after the teamsters and the “turtles” (environmentalists) parted ways, and global capital appeared momentarily derailed by a city full of barricades, her short article circulated listservs and email inboxes with penetrating questions for the debut showing of the newly born “anti-globalization movement.” Martinez highlighted the ways in which people of color did participate but asked us to reconcile the apparent divide. If “we are to make Seattle’s promise of a new, international movement against imperialist globalization come true,” she wrote, we must understand and learn from the low-level of participation from people of color.

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